Kid’s Ledger – Power of Suggestion

Positive feedback is known to have a direct correlation to self-worth just as power of suggestion can be used to drive results. Children can teach us a lot about the power of suggestion and since I am a personal financial blogger I will relate that directly to the relationship we have with money.

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The Cost of Raising a Child in the U.S $233,610 – Poppycock!

Side note: We almost named Little Miss TJL “Poppy”.

The esteemed U.S. Department of Agriculture released its latest report on the cost to raise a child and I cry foul! First of all, even if this figure is accurate, it covers 17 years of life; of course you are going to spend some money! But I fear it makes the cost of raising a child seem much worse than it actually is (or needs to be).

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The Big Scratch – Indulgence and January 2017 Net Worth Report

Despite being rather indulgent with luxurious vacations and collectible cars, we finished the year strong with a net worth increase of $208,884! How was this possible with an income of $151,000 ? Let’s break it down:

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The Ledger – December 2016 and Year-end Expense Reports

In 2016, we buckled down for a full year of reduced spending in the TJL household. Weekly, I diligently recorded every expense, every cash advance, every spendy child-related activity. The final tally…. A very respectable $43,208 !

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State of the Blog Address

When I started this blog in April, I needed to get a lot of ideas out of my head without driving my friends crazy. I had become a little one-note at gatherings and I could feel people distancing themselves from me.

Maybe if I play dead she’ll stop telling me to conquer my finances and slay my debt!

I believe most people want control over their financial lives but become overwhelmed by information they don’t quite trust or understand. It is easier to put it off. Often people feel guilty asking for advice and feel they should have to pay for it. Taking advice from a friend can be risky especially when said person (i.e., me) is not a professional financial advisor.

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The Church of FI – Bah Humbug! And November Expense and Net Worth reports from the Blogosphere

I know I harp a lot on people buying stupid stuff. Usually, I am just referring to new cars, too much house, copious restaurant dining, and general crap. This headline falls under that general crap category and I can’t believe it’s true. Or maybe I can believe it’s true but I can’t believe that people buy this stuff.

This totally regular rock costs $85 at Nordstrom. Seriously

Are you effing kidding me?!!!


Hey, but “ each piece is unique and will vary slightly”

I will save you $85 bucks right now. Go outside, pick up rock. Done.

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The Big Scratch – December 2016 Net Worth Update


Only one month remaining this year and we are on track to exceed our savings goals. We hit our year-end financial projections already, so unless the stock market crashes in December, we will sky-rocket over our targets.

I hate to speculate why the markets saw such a boon in November. I suppose it is in reaction to Donald Trump’s election to the office of President. Shareholders love the idea of tax-incentives for corporations and fewer regulations on Wall Street. I think we are playing with fire and I am a little disgusted by this level of greed.

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Personal Goals for 2017


Mr. Sheep escaping from Mrs. Sheep.


Back in January, I decided that this year my family and I would start getting annual wellness exams and bi-annual dental checkups and cleanings. My insurance covers preventative medical services but we have only used them once in the last 11 years, right before the birth of Little Miss TJL.

At that time, I was in pretty decent health, but Mr. TJL had some cholesterol and blood pressure issues. He has successfully ignored them for the last eight years. It is time to get that check out again.

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The Ledger – November 2016 Expense Report


Fall has sailed off into the sunset

Our total operating expenses were under-budget by $350. We managed to have another month of low monthly expenses of $2,224 and that includes our $1,300 mortgage payment!

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Financial Planning for 2017


Next stop… 2017.

Two years ago, we really buckled down and started an action plan to retire in 2021. Today, we are nearly 40% to our goal. Each year we have been able to save more than we have projected, primarily due to earning more money than expected. There are only a few steps to achieve financial independence quickly;

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